Baseball: Washington Twp. cruises past Hanover to reach PCC final
By Dave Melton Post-Tribune correspondent May 18, 2013 7:26PM
Washington Township's Tyler Byerly scores on a double by teammate Justin Landgrebe in the fifth inning during the PCC baseball tournament at Washington Township (Ind.) High School Saturday May 18, 2013. | Stephanie Dowell~Post-Tribune
Updated: June 20, 2013 4:53PM
VALPARAISO — From the first batter, Washington Township’s offense was in full swing.
The Senators cranked out 18 hits, scoring 14 runs, defeating Hanover Central 14-3 in the second round of the PCC tournament. With the win, Washington Township became the final team to eliminate the GSSC-bound Wildcats from a PCC tournament.
“We were on the barrel for the whole day,” said Washington head coach Randy Roberts. “We hit the ball hard against them the first time, but it was right at people. Today we were hitting the ball hard and we found some holes.”
The hit parade started in top of the first inning. Leadoff man Tyler Byerly singled to start the game, one of his four hits on the day. Two batters later, Justin Landgrebe hit an opposite-field home run for an early 2-0 Washington lead.
Hanover starter Daniel Balich retired the first two batters in the second inning, but a walk to Byerly started another Senators rally. Bob Ross doubled Washington’s lead with a two-run homer, then, three straight doubles from Landgrebe, Luke Lipiniski and Corey Holderread stretched the lead to 6-0. One run in each of the next three innings had Washington ahead 9-0 by the bottom of the fifth.
“We fell behind all day. They have a lineup where, if you don’t hit your spots, they’re going to make you pay,” said Hanover head coach Doug Nelson. “You can’t decide to start playing when you’re down 9-0. If we had come out with that intensity from the first pitch, it may have been a different ball game.”
Three hits in the fifth inning led to three runs for Hanover, but that was all the offense the Wildcats could muster against Landgrebe, who pitched all seven innings while allowing six hits and four walks with 10 strikeouts.
“My pitch today was my curve ball,” said Landgrebe. “Hanover’s a good hitting team. They’ve played some tough competition. I had to keep them off-speed.”
Washington’s offense wasn’t done, either, with a three-run bomb from Lipinski capping the scoring after the Senators added five runs in the seventh.
Overall, the top four Washington hitters (Byerly, Ross, Landgrebe and Lipinski) combined to go 12 for 18 with two walks, three doubles, three home runs, 11 runs scored and 12 runs batted in.
“You couldn’t really have a better day to hit and the whole team hit today,” Landgrebe said.
Roberts added: “The guys at the bottom half of the order did what they needed, and that was a big key. If those three are getting on base, you’re going to be hard to beat.”